"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Visiting to do research

In our library

Our research library, which provides access to an unrivaled collection of primary and secondary sources, is open to the public for historical and genealogical researchYou can access the vast collections of the VHS in person or online.

How can we help with your research?

Admission to the library

Effective August 15, 2016, our policy for using the research library will change. VHS members will continue to use the library free of charge. Researchers who are not members have the option of becoming members at the academic level ($50), previously reserved for students and teachers. Learn more about membership.

  • Nonmembers may use the library for $20 per day.
  • Nonmember students (with a valid student ID) may use the library for $10 per day.
  • Nonmembers who do not request materials or use the library materials are welcome to study in the library for no charge.

Membership in the VHS has never been a better value, especially for students. New student memberships are now available for $25 when you visit the VHS. Student members enjoy full membership benefits except for mailings. They receive the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in digital format and stay abreast of VHS events and programs via email.

These changes will allow us to make a greater investment in the collections and the services that have made the VHS library one of the premier private research institutions in the country.

Thank you for your support. Since 1831 the VHS, a private institution, has depended on individuals like you to help us collect, preserve, and interpret the Commonwealth’s remarkable history.

The extensive collection of our library is free and open to all VHS visitors.
Find out more about The reading room
Reading Room
The library of the VHS maintains an extensive collection of items related to the history and culture of Virginia.
Find out more about What does the library contain?
Richmond Public Library 2002.301.42
Our library offers many services to help you with your research.
Find out more about The services we offer
Our library is open to the public. To protect our collection, here are some procedures and rules to follow in the reading room.
Find out more about Getting access and what to bring
What to bring